Costa Rica contains numerous hazardous volcanoes and we printed a variety of models to support ongoing public outreach efforts. In addition to single color models of Turialba, which is currently active, we incorporated the lahar hazards by printing in two colors at the same time. We also used an Mcor printer (which uses paper!) to produce a model with a full color hazard map draped over the top. This project was also interesting, because we obtained LIDAR data, which yielded an incredibly detailed model of the summit crater on Volcan Poas. We delivered these models to Pablo Ruiz, a Costa Rican hazard researcher in June of 2015 and I joined them for a presentation at a school on the side of Turialba. A group of University of Costa Rica geology majors did a great job explaining the various hazards and they will be writing a paper on the use of 3D printed models as part of a larger strategy for education and outreach.
From my colleague Luke Bowman at Michigan Tech: San Vicente volcano in central El Salvador is an inactive stratovolcano that has no historic record of volcanic activity; however, it is arguably the most dangerous volcano in the country. Frequent, recurring landslides and mudflows have inundated nearby communities at least six times over the last 200 years. Most recently, in November 2009 heavy rainfall triggered shallow landslides forming debris flows that killed over 250 individuals. Since this disaster, there has been a dedicated effort to better educate local residents about volcanic hazards and better prepare communities for future disasters. International and national aid has focused on community outreach and training efforts to actively involve local residents in volcano and slope stability monitoring efforts. Community-based monitoring groups, led by Civil Protection and the University of El Salvador, are now equipped with weather stations, two-way radios, and slope failure monitoring devices to better forecast hazard events and communicate warnings during emergencies. The application of 3D models by the University of El Salvador and Civil Protection in education programs, urban planning efforts, and training modules will provide a unique way to better visualize and model potential hazards in an intuitive manner for individuals with little experience reading traditional 2D/aerial maps. We hope that the models will assist education and understanding of debris flow hazards while providing an innovative method of visualizing spatial aspects regarding communities' locations with respect to modeled debris flow paths.
This is a new project, so stay tuned for more details.